[News] Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Palestinians should be Annihilated

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 2 11:10:55 EDT 2010

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Palestinians should be Annihilated

02. Sep, 2010

By Khalid Amayreh

Who says there is no Jewish Nazism?

Ovadia Yosef is the spiritual leader of hundreds of thousands of 
haredi orthodox Jews who give him automatic and nearly absolute 
allegiance. This week, he lashed out at the Palestinians, saying that 
they should all be annihilated. "May God destroy them with a plague," 
said the elderly rabbi.

Yosef's remarks should be taken seriously as they seem to reflect a 
deepening grave phenomenon in the Israeli Jewish society. It is 
Jewish fascism, pure and simple.  It is racist, virulent and violent.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a few sporadic voices, which 
criticized the rabbi for saying what he said, the Israeli society 
generally ignored the manifestly racist remarks, either out of 
apathy, or because they concurred with him.

Even Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu refused to directly 
and explicitly denounce the racist tirade, even though it was 
politically correct to do so in a certain sense.  Instead he babbled 
a few words, saying that what Yosef said didn't represent the policy 
of the Israeli government. Shas, the political party whose ultimate 
political maker is Yosef, is an important coalition partner in the 
Netanyahu coalition.

Interestingly, Yosef was not talking merely about Arab extremists, or 
terrorists, or other "demonized groups." He was rather talking about 
"all Palestinians" who he said should perish.

Yosef is considered a Torah sage. Hence, it is unlikely that he was 
mincing words or making a slip of a tongue as some hasbara 
propagandists would claim to limit the damage generated by 
the  racist utterance.

I strongly believe the world, especially Jews, ought to treat such 
calls, which haven't been made for the first time, with utmost 
seriousness and gravity, because wishing Palestinians "a speedy 
annihilation" is effectively a call for genocide.

Jews can't keep talking about the holocaust while fascism is taking 
root in their midst. They should realize, in case they don't that 
Nazism was sinful and evil, not because it was partly directed 
against Jews, but rather because it was inherently diabolical and nefarious.

In the final analysis, Jewish fascism is no less evil than German 
fascism or any other fascism. There is no such a thing as a kosher 
genocide or a kosher holocaust, the kind of which this ignorant, 
hateful old man, who calls himself a Torah sage, is calling for. 
Didn't he learn when he was young the cardinal Biblical commandment, 
thou shall not murder?

Yosef is by no means thunder on a clear day. He represents a 
widespread phenomenon in Israel and amongst Jews who increasingly 
harbor genocidal views toward the Palestinian people. This genocidal 
ideology, dubbed by much of the international media as merely "Jewish 
extremism," can be called Jewish Nazism, at least from the 
perspective of ideology.

Several months ago, another rabbi, Mordechai Elyahu, who died 
recently, was quoted by his own son as saying that hundreds of 
thousands, even millions, of Palestinian civilians ought to be killed 
if largely innocuous projectiles from Gaza didn't cease.

Other religious figures, who routinely invoke the issue of terror, 
readily quote from the Old Testament, justifying war crimes and 
crimes against humanity perpetrated callously by the Israeli 
occupation army against innocent civilians in occupied Palestine and Lebanon .

One religious Zionist leader, a lady, didn't hesitate to call on the 
Israeli government and army to adopt Biblical-style genocide in 
dealing with the Palestinian issue. Needless to say, a Biblical-style 
solution means annihilating men, women, and children and not leaving 
a breathing thing.

It is highly hypocritical and morally duplicitous for Israel and 
its  supporters to urge Muslims to rein in their extremists while 
giving a near carte blanche to the likes of Ovadia Yosef to spew 
their hateful venom.

When an Israeli  soldier hears Yosef spew this Nazi-like venom,  it 
is predictable how this soldier will internalize what he heard, 
especially in dealing with Palestinians.

Then the innocent blood shed will not be the sole responsibility of 
the young brainwashed soldier, but also the responsibility of the 
rabbis who keep fostering hate and racism among their followers.

When an Israeli murderer, a French Jewish immigrant,  was asked by 
police  a few years ago why he murdered an Arab taxi driver who had 
given him a ride to his home, the murderer said he thought non-Jewish 
lives were worthless and had no sanctity. He apparently had learned 
this during a homily at his neighborhood's synagogue.

Yes, there are extremists everywhere. But in Israel, extremism is the 
mainstream, as successive elections have repeatedly shown. Today, in 
Israel humanists, human rights activists, academics who oppose racism 
and equality advocates are hounded and demonized. The gangs of 
fascism, who function under a variety of rubrics, don't sleep the 
night trying to vilify university professors and others who dare call 
the spade a spade. In short, terror and McCarthyism are in the air 
every where in a state that mendaciously calls itself  "democratic."

True, Muslims have extremist organizations such as al-Qaeda and other 
organizations which commit acts of  mostly politically-motivated 
violence and terror. However, while the bulk of Muslims are decidedly 
against these groups, it is sad that we find most Jews are decidedly 
and enthusiastically supportive of Jewish racist and terror groups, 
especially the settler movement whose venomous ideology advocates 
genocide as the ultimate solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Ovadia Yosef will get away with impunity as he did numerous times 
before. In the final analysis, Yosef is the product of Israeli 
fascism which he epitomizes.

However, Israel should also look back at similar experiences where 
fascism took its course and reached its evil potentials. We all know 
the rest of the story.

Khalid Amayreh is a Journalist living in Dura, Hebron District, West 
Bank, occupied Palestine . He  has BA in journalism: University of 
Oklahoma ,  1981 MA in journalism, University of Southern Illinois , 1983

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